nervously descending the steps i wonder if anyone is watching me. my steps, a bit intoxicated from the four sam adams consumed a mere thirty minutes before, my head, a bit foggier than usual, mon rythm cardiaque accelerating at the sight of a dark figure waiting in front of the door. my left arm, covered in a tattoo of a map of the arctic circle, extends to meet the handle of the steel door. a rush of wind greets me with hospitality and the dark figure turns to meet my gaze. his hood is pulled up over his head, his eyes, behind those fogged glasses, are indeed, dialated, his throat is parched, and his ears are beet red. he puts his left hand on the face of the door and motions with his right hand for me to exit first. my body obliges, but my eyes remain, intent, on his mysterious visage. his eyes, follow mine, and a smile creeps to the edges of his face. no such thing appears on my face, but my soul is warmed by this small gesture. i begin to walk up the hill to the main road, but my head is still turned back, facing the stranger. after a brief moment, his silhouette disappears into the building and my head is forced to look onward instead of behind.
the streets are cold, iced over, abandonned. the people are sporadically placed, and i, i am just a passerby. my pace is swifter than normal, perhaps it was the decreasing temperature that fired my energy. the street lights glowed with a sallow tint, and the stars were nowhere to be spotted. as i found myself, moving uptown, past the bars, i passed by a group of young men all clad in sable. their heads were homes to an array of thrifted hats- all of which looked miraculously warm. each man had a cigarette in hand, and they were conversing amongst themselves. with my presence however, their colloquies seemed to cease. all eyes were on me, and i tried to speed up my pace. i felt my skin flushing, but oh, not pink, my skin flushes even more paler than what most would think is humanly possible. the last boy i passed blocked my pathway and smiled at me. i averted eye contact the moment this happened. hey sweetie, wanna cig? he prodded. i nodded my head in a manner that was both timid but strong, and his friends pushed him slightly out of the way. one even called after me a half-hearted apology for their ill-mannered drunken friend. my walk continued to consume me. by the time i reached the promenade, the traffic lights were blinking with their carmine color. my hands displayed little to no signs of life, and my hair was brittle and feeble. my eyes glanced around my outdoor environment nervously and spastically. i saw a bench and headed towards it.
the bench laid beneath a tall street light, and it faced the wide and endless atlantic ocean. as i sat on the weathered bench, mon ryhthm cardiaque, stabilized. i fumbled through my pockets in search for a pack of cigarettes. pulling out my roomates camel lights, i light one with a zippo that i acquired from working at an irish pub. the lost and found always presented many treasures for me and my co-workers. the night seemed to be at a stand-still, and the cars on the overpass, that could also be discerned from this consecrated bench, seemed to pass by at a snail’s pace. my thoughts were empty, and my breathing was slow. the world in front of me was simple enough to love, but also, simple enough to detest more than anything else one could imagine detesting. minutes went by, even though they seemed like hours, and eventually, i wandered back into the real world. i hear the shuffling of feet approaching from behind. due to my skittish nature, i turn abruptly to see what challenge faces me tonight. my eyes detect a lone boy, sporting a ripped black t-shirt with Albert Einstein’s image printed on its chest. he has a cigarette to his lips, and his free hand remains in his pocket. he looks incredibly chilled, but no wonder! his shirt barely covers his malnourished torso. i see his eyes glance at me. he stops a bit in his tracks, but continues onward. the moments it takes him to make his way from the pine tree- which happens to be about 25 yards, to where i was sitting, i can’t quite recall, but that’s not the point. as he passes by, an unknown force is ignited within me. i leap up from my bench and call after him.
he looks around him, and then his eyes meet mine. he stops where he is, and i saunter over to him with no idea what to say.